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perpetrator

[pur-pi-trey-ter] /ˈpɜr pɪˌtreɪ tər/
noun
1.
a person who perpetrates, or commits, an illegal, criminal, or evil act:
The perpetrators of this heinous crime must be found and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

perpetrate

[pur-pi-treyt] /ˈpɜr pɪˌtreɪt/
verb (used with object), perpetrated, perpetrating.
1.
to commit:
to perpetrate a crime.
2.
to present, execute, or do in a poor or tasteless manner:
Who perpetrated this so-called comedy?
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Latin perpetrātus (past participle of perpetrāre to carry out, execute, perform), equivalent to per- per- + -petr- (combining form of patrāre to father, bring about; see pater) + -ā- theme vowel + -tus past participle suffix; see -ate1
Related forms
perpetrable
[pur-pi-truh-buh l] /ˈpɜr pɪ trə bəl/ (Show IPA),
adjective
perpetration, noun
perpetrator, noun
nonperpetration, noun
unperpetrated, adjective
Can be confused
perpetrate, perpetuate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for perpetrators
  • If the perpetrators are found, they could be prosecuted under the state's animal-cruelty laws.
  • It is entirely possible that he is being set up to be a scapegoat, while the perpetrators walk away.
  • Now scientists have used forensic techniques to clear local geese-the perpetrators were out-of-towners.
  • So far you've cited situations where the perpetrators were caught.
  • It pretty much stands that zealots and schizos are the originators and perpetrators of religion.
  • In the early days, the perpetrators weren't exactly geniuses.
  • Presumably that was the primary goal of the perpetrators-to attract attention, to spawn fear.
  • Her evidence offers little basis for any insight into the mentality of the perpetrators.
  • And when it happens, perpetrators need to be called into account.
  • perpetrators must be summarily banished from polite society.
British Dictionary definitions for perpetrators

perpetrate

/ˈpɜːpɪˌtreɪt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to perform or be responsible for (a deception, crime, etc)
Derived Forms
perpetration, noun
perpetrator, noun
Usage note
Perpetrate and perpetuate are sometimes confused: he must answer for the crimes he has perpetrated (not perpetuated); the book helped to perpetuate (not perpetrate) some of the myths surrounding his early life
Word Origin
C16: from Latin perpetrāre, from per- (thoroughly) + patrāre to perform, perhaps from pater father, leader in the performance of sacred rites
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for perpetrators

perpetrate

v.

1540s, from Latin perpetratus, past participle of perpetrare "to perform, to accomplish," from per- "completely" + patrare "carry out," originally "bring into existence," from pater "father" (see father (n.)). Earlier in English was perpetren, mid-15c., from Old French perpetrer. Neither good nor bad in Latin, first used in English in statutes, hence its sense of "to perform criminally." Related: Perpetrated; perpetrating.

perpetrator

n.

literally "the one who did it" (in English usually an evil act), 1560s, from Late Latin perpetrator, agent noun of perpetrare "to perform, to accomplish" (see perpetrate). Fem. forms are perpetratress (1811, of Nero's poisoner Locusta); perpetratrix (1862, in reference to Charlotte Corday).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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